FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) As the No. 3-ranked Indiana Hoosiers warmed up on the Memorial Coliseum floor Tuesday night, one young man in the Fort Wayne student section raised a hand-written sign.
It read, “President Trump. So there’s a chance!”
There certainly was.
Fort Wayne ruled the imposing Hoosiers and forced Tom Crean’s team to play catch-up all game long. The Mastodons trailed for just 90 seconds in their 71-68 overtime win. Indiana, which toppled then-No. 3 Kansas to start the season, looked outmatched against a Mastodons squad that only moved up from Division II to Division I in 2001-02.
Crean said as much: “The bottom line is they executed better than we did, and that’s disappointing to me. They passed the ball faster and better than we did.”
After the game, Fort Wayne coach Jon Coffman seemed almost as blessed to have the opportunity to play powerful Indiana as he was to have beaten them. The young coach thanked Crean for bringing the Hoosiers to the Memorial Coliseum.
“They’ll be talking about Indiana coming to Fort Wayne for the next 50 years,” Coffman said.
The official attendance was listed at 11,076. One Memorial Coliseum official told NewsChannel 15 that less than 10 seats in the arena were left without a body for Tuesday’s game. Nine out of every 10 fans wore cream and crimson.
Still, Fort Wayne prevailed – as a basketball program, as a university, as a city.
“We had a win even before the game started,” Coffman said.
Fort Wayne native Bryson Scott scored 18 points for Fort Wayne and John Konchar added 15, including the go-ahead free throw with 1:19 left in overtime.
Thomas Bryant had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana, and Robert Johnson scored 16.